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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  July 29, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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to this day, i still can't believe that she's gone. if i would have known then what i know now, i would have spent more time with her. >> they married young and started a life together in the >> it's kind of a hidden nugget that not a lot of people know about. >> she charmed all the locals. >> very vibrant. >> delightful is the word that comes to mind. >> for newlyweds brian and kathryn, big sky country was a paradise. for one of them it would also become a grave. >> i remember hysterical crying, screaming. >> kathryn's lifeless body found in the river. >> she said, accidents can
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>> kathryn's husband agreed. >> they told people she was drinking, she was crying and threatened to kill herself. >> suicide? her friend didn't buy it. >> somebody had done this to her. >> this investigator thought so, too. >> i had to lay it all out on this huge conference table. and i said, wait a minute. >> un-earthing two bombshell witnesses. >> the andersons heard her die. >> a dark and damning tale. but would ry >> i made a promise that i will find out who did this and i will make sure that they're brought to justice. >> i'm lester holt and this is "dateline." here's keith more son with "the reckoning." >> dreams seem to flow downstream somehow, carried by the river's whims, carried where the current wills them to safety
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here is where they came, the newlyweds, to their own beautiful river, their montana eden, where they dreamed their dreams. and where now these decades later the silent water may finally give up their secrets. >> there's never been anything that's been the same since that day. >> sherry harper is talking about a mystery that seemed beyond solving. happened to her, sherry's sister, kathryn. >> you tell people, and you're hearing yourself speak. and you're thinking this is like something you see on tv. >> do they understand? >> they don't. and how could we possibly expect them to? >> and so you go back to the beginning. you search for the answer in the past. >> and we did everything together. >> this is kathryn's childhood best friend, melissa. >> either she was at my house or
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>> like sisters in a way? >> we were. we were. we played together. she just had such a zest for life. >> the memories are idyllic, said melissa. under the sun in the swimming pool in her backyard. >> she taught me to swim. >> she was a strong swimmer? >> she was. she swam every day. >> sherry was the big sister, kathryn the youngest with a brother, thomas, wedged in between them. >> she was a champion equestrian rider. she wanted to continue that and then go to veterinary school. >> so, yes, she loved animals. but most of all she loved him. >> he was a part of her life every single day. his name was ralph. and it was her child. >> one of those little human-like jack russell terriers. >> yes, he thought he was a
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>> joined her in college southern methodist where she scored straight a's, jumped horses and was captain of the polo team. there one day on the grassy polo field she met a boy, brian. brian laird, another polo player, son of an eminent eye doctor. he was prelaw. before too long they were living together. and in the summer, working together in fort smith, montana, population 161. >> it's a tiny little town. and you get to know everybody really well. and everybody knows pretty much what everybody else is doing. >> that there's a town at all is due to the bighorn river on which june and gordon rose ran a tackle shop and lodge. the bighorn to serious fly fishermen is something like mecca. >> it just had such a massive population of fish per mile.
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>> brian worked as a fishing guide, kathryn worked in the tackle shop. >> they had both just graduated. they'd come to the river in the summer, you know, for summer jobs. >> and then after brian finished law school, in the winter of 1999, they got married. the newlyweds moved to billings, montana, where brian set up a small law practice. kathryn put vet school on hold to help brian run the office. but brian's heart wasn't really in the law. not when the bighorn was calling. so they bought a mobile home in fort smith. and the two of them picked up where their summer jobs left off. >> we didn't use him very often as a guide. but we did let him carry a tab in the store. >> he seemed really timid around people. >> and kathryn? >> delightful is the word that
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devoted. >> devoted to what? >> to brian. >> oh, okay. >> she was working three jobs that summer. >> that's true. she worked in our store, cleaned rooms at another lodge and then the shuttle business. >> and she was a really hard-working. never showed up for work late. >> all that spring and early summer of 1999, brian and kathryn and the roses and the other fort smith fly fishing outfitters worked the river dawn till dark. and the current carrfi dreams and sparkling flies and darker things. it was the morning of july 31st. one of kathryn's co-workers burst into the tackle shop. >> have you seen her? she didn't show up for work. did she say anything to you? i said, no. we haven't seen or heard from her. and she was very worried. and so the other person that was working with me that day said, well, i'll run over to their
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>> but brian, roused from a deep sleep, had no idea where kathryn was. somehow, in the middle of the night, she had vanished into the vast wilderness of montana. >> when we come back, the search for kathryn is on. >> a friend makes a stunning discovery in the river. >> she alerted brian right away. she alerted the authorities right away. >> and a family grapples with the unthinkable. hysterical crying, screaming. marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! s?? polo! marco...! polo! scusa? ma io sono marco polo, ma... marco...! playing "marco polo" with marco polo? surprising. ragazzini, io sono marco polo. s?, sono qui... what's not surprising? how much money amanda and keith saved by switching to geico. ahhh... polo. marco...! polo!
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a terrible dread spread up and down the bighorn river that morning of july 31st, 1999, when kathryn laird failed to turn up for work. a missing person's report was filed. brian, her distraught husband, went up and down the river calling, looking. so did her neighbors. and pretty one one of them, driving past a reservoir the locals call the after bay, saw >> she alerted brian right away. she alerted the authorities right away. >> brian laird raced to the after bay, plunged into the freezing water, carried the body to shore. it was kathryn. it was too late. she was just 28 years old. by then, a gaggle of law enforcement had arrive. >> it was crazy. many entities out there.
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county jurisdiction, you have state jurisdiction. >> but it was the fbi whose agent took charge of the scene. kathryn was found wearing sweat pants and a shirt and a bra, but no shoes or socks. her white 4-runner was located in a parking lot about 100 yards from where her body was found. inside the vehicle they found her purse, eye glasses, some prescription antidepressants of brian's and a half empty bottle of tequila. the shell-shocked brian was driven 40 miles to a doctor in hardin, montana and sedated. and 1,000 miles away in texas, sherry got a call from her mother. >> she says, she just received this horrible telephone call from brian. all he kept saying was, there's been a horrible accident. i just remember lots of hysterical crying, screaming. my mom just saying, she's gone.
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>> that's when she said, kathryn drowned. and i said, no, she did not. and she said, accidents can happen. and i said, no. i assure you this was no accident. my sister would not drown. >> did you have an idea what happened? >> no. at that time i really didn't. >> neither did kathryn's friend, melissa. >> i'm like who are you talking about drowned? she could swim. what are you talking about? >> not just swim but swim. >> yes. all i could picture was the swng >> a distraught family flew to montana. >> brian met us at the airport. >> what sort of state was he in? >> very lethargic. you could tell he was taking something. >> yeah. >> to calm him down. >> what happened? the night before, said brian, he and kathryn argued for hours. he to a void her anger went to sleep, he said, and she,
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asked him to take care of ralph then got into her 4-runner and drove away into the night. last time he saw her alive, he said. must have taken his medicine with her and so much booze she either drowned accidentally or more likely, he said, she committed suicide. brian's parents had arrived by then and they had some hard questions for kathryn's family about her emotional state. >> how long had kan and both of us are like, what are you talking about? well, that's how she died. she apparently took pills and drank an excessive amount of alcohol and she drowned. >> there was an autopsy, of course. two, in fact. and this was odd, given the pills in her vehicle and half empty tequila bottle. there wasn't any alcohol in her body. no trace of those pills, either. two medical examiners agreed on
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but as for the manner of death? accident? suicide? homicide? they just couldn't say. so it was ruled undetermined. >> we'd made all the emergencyments through the funeral home so that she could be flown home and we could say our goodbyes. >> five days after her death, brian took ralph the dog and left fort smith for missouri where he moved in with his parents. and along the river, life went on. the fishing season was peaking, so much to do. and the sad story of the beautiful young woman who had drowned herself in the icy after bay faded, as stories will. not forgotten, not exactly. but over. except it was not. not by a long shot. >> i made a promise to her when i saw her in her casket. that i will find out who did this to her.
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they're brought to justice. >> coming up. >> kathryn's family begins its own investigation and is troubled by the findings. >> she went up and down the river, and she just said, this doesn't make any sense. >> when "dateline" continues. es. get to kohl's... for our best friends & family event! thursday through sunday take an extra 20% off any way you pay! plus, yes2you rewards members earn triple points. plus, everyone gets kohl's cash too. nothing but the best savings. now that's the good stuff.
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they knew kathryn was a powerful swimmer. a water accident seemed most unlikely. as for suicide, they didn't buy it. kathryn phoned home often, they said, and never sounded depressed. and even though the medical examiners left manner of death
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the fbi was suspicious, too. of brian. so agent randy jackson called him at his folks' home in missouri. he didn't offer much. >> i'm just totally in the dark here. i don't know if my wife -- you know, if she died because she took too many sleeping pills. i have no idea. >> in a series of phone calls, jackson tried to cajole him back to montana to discuss the case. >> do you anticipate that you'd be few minutes speaking with me anytime soon? >> oh, not -- not too soon, probably. because that would just have to be a special trip just for that one isolated matter. >> that doesn't sound like cooperation to the fbi. and then when they asked up and down the river, they learned that kathryn had been planning to leave brian. the week before she died, kathryn asked june rose for a day off from work, needed to it go to the county courthouse and
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>> i said, have you tried counselling? and she's like, june, i've done it all. i can't do anymore. i have to get out of this marriage. >> big decision and she's made it. >> she gave me the impression that she'd been very systematic about it. she tried many things. none of it worked. >> so, lots of suspicion. but the fbi simply couldn't prove brian caused kathryn's death. by september, brian lawyered up. the investigation stalled. and kathryn's family? dismayed by the lack of progress, they went back to fort smith and opened their own investigation. >> kathryn's mom came up. >> looked and asked and looked and asked. >> she went up and down the river just looking for anything to get information and find out the truth. >> what did she seem to think had happened? >> she just said, this doesn't make any sense.
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she was trying to find out anything she could. >> we would put out reward posters or information posters. and we would talk to fishermen. were you here on this date? did you see anything? did you hear anything? we would talk to neighbors. >> the family expanded their investigation. >> we hired private investigators, both in dallas and in kansas, and they did interviews with some of her friends from smu. >> what sorts of things did you find out? >> that brian and kathryn fought a lot. and there was a time where she was afraid of him. >> and yet she got married to him. >> she did. >> fishing season after fishing season, kathryn's sister and mother returned to fort smith. kathryn's death, receding further and further into the town's past. >> we went up there for several years, every summer, and spent a couple of weeks. >> she tried to find out
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somebody might just open the door to something that would tell her what happened to her daughter. >> months of fruitless investigation turned into years. the more sherry and her family learned, the more convinced they became that brian had a hand in her death but would never be brought to justice. and so the business about ralph the dog? kind of like salt in a wound. all this time, brian refused to give or even sell them kathryn's beloved jack russell terrier. >> so after a couple of years, my mom called one day. and she said, i'm so tired of being nice. i want ralph. and i said, i do, too. she goes, well, then we're going to go get ralph. >> their private investigator found out where brian was, eight hours away. they made the long drive. >> my mom saw ralph in the backyard, called his name. of course he came immediately. >> yeah.
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and she came running back to the car. and we put ralph in the car and we drove back home to texas. >> wow. >> he was all over us. >> a few years after kathryn's death, the family learned that brian was trying to get license to practice law in missouri. >> so i immediately called the bar in missouri and said, here's what's going on. perhaps you don't want to let him sit for the bar exam. >> he got quite a rough going over by the questioners. >> he did. >> they didn't give him his license? >> no. >> so brian laird moved to colorado. he set up a law practice in fort collins, specializing in conflict resolution. in texas, kathryn remained deep in her friend melissa's heart. >> when i found out i was pregnant and when i found out it was a girl, i went to kathryn's mom and asked for her permission
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take kathryn's middle name, danielle, for my daughter. i wanted her to always be there with me. >> and fort smith, the bighorn flowed on. fishermen came and went. and fresh crimes demanded investigators' attention. kathryn's case grew as cold as the river in winter. and finally in 2004, the fbi closed the file. >> so as all these years went by, year after year after year, and nothing happened, what was that like for you? >> excruciating. devastating, knowing that he was walking around and getting to live his life. after he had taken such an amazing woman off this earth. >> it was the coldest of cold cases. >> but i never gave up ever. >> coming up. a new investigator pours through the evidence and spots something critical. >> i had to lay it all out on this huge conference table.
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asesin? y sali? y no pag? por >> it's completely changed our family. a it's not easy. >> and then one day in 2012, 13 years after kathryn's death, a fbi agent named john teling happened to have some time on his hands. he'd heard about the case, as had most of them in the building's fbi bureau. so he asked his boss if he could take a look. which was a bit odd, really, given that teling worked white collar crime.
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>> i work a nicer side, generally the financial crimes. >> what he did was turn his actuary's eye toward a very big file. >> and i literally sat at my desk hour after hour after hour. an i read every line. and i highlighted it. it was highly suspicious. >> you didn't believe it was a suicide. >> no. >> but that was the foundational story which had been told by the main witness, the husband. >> that's right. >> he said it was a suicide. and it's your job to prove >> i thought he was lying. >> the family liaison with the fbi told sherry what teling was up to. >> she said, we've reopened the case. i started crying. but they were cries of joy and hope. and i even told her, i said, this is the call i've dreamed about. i prayed about. >> back in the building's office, teling was trying to solve the case from its chronology, looking for the
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>> what happened the evening before she was murdered, two days before, three days before? this timeline became enormous. finally i had to lay it all out on this huge conference table. and i rolled it back and says, wait a minute. there was a hell of a lot going on the evening before. >> as the agent developed his timeline, it dawned on him he'd have to shift the focus of his investigation from the scene of back to the laird's neighborhood in town. >> i talked to the water department, the tax department, and the neighbors. and i got a plat survey of the trailer park. >> to show who was living there. >> to show who was living there. and i said, come hell or high water, i am going to find everybody that was in that trailer park in july of 1999. >> teling talked to everybody in
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smith, he found people who told him new things, disturbing things, about the reality of brian and kathryn's marriage. >> i found new witnesses. those two had fought and fought and fought. >> and then, buried deep in the original case notes, the forensic accountant found something curious. either important or nothing. >> there was one note in there, josh anderson sa h and i said, who is josh? who are his parents? and they lived next door. >> but nobody had spoken to them? >> there's no record of them being spoken to. they were never there. >> never there, teling discovered, for a particular reason. the andersons were power boaters. the power boaters spent their time way up the reservoir, miles away.
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drowned, agent teling found himself knocking on the door of the anderson's summer home. >> well, i found them on a summer day, a rare day they weren't boating, next to where brian and kathryn laird lived. >> oh, what a story they told. as teling would reveal eventually. it provided, he believed, the final piece in the puzzle about what happened to kathryn. after two years of he had a case. albeit a very old, very circumstantial case. could he sell it? >> somebody in your position could work like crazy trying to solve a case like this, and then prosecutor says, sorry. i'm not going to take a chance. were you worried about that? >> absolutely. >> although it had been a federal investigation, the state of montana had jurisdiction. so they turned to brad light who runs the montana attorney
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>> when i looked at it and i read it, i thought this was a very very good case. and it clearly to me showed that brian laird had killed his wife. >> the assistant attorney general met with teling. >> he says, yes, we're going to do this. state of montana will charge him with deliberate homicide. >> they weren't quite there yet, mind you. more than a year passed. >> we had to find him. he was in fort collins. he did not want to be found. p.d. fugitives squad located him. and on september 11th, 2014, with teling in tow, they arrested brian laird for kathryn's murder. >> did you talk to him then? >> well, i tried to talk to him. he would not talk to us. he's an attorney. >> how did he look? >> he looked terrible. he didn't look good. >> word of brian's arrest reached sherry. >> i sat down at my desk and
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and my only thought was, i wish i could have been there. >> probably imagined that scene a time or two. >> i did, yes. >> but brian was not behind bars for long. >> you may be seated. >> four months later, he was out on bail, with a first rate legal team confident they would free him. coming up, what the neighbor overheard. revelations about an encounter between kathryn and someone else on the last day of her life. i >> what did you hear coming from the female voice? >> just no, no, no! the female was crying. >> who was kathryn talking to?
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finally, the time of reckoning. 17 years after brian laird carried his wife kathryn's lifeless body from a bay in the bighorn river, he went on trial, charged with her murder. but it was a difficult rc for veteran prosecutors chad parker and oly olsson. >> so what did you want the jury to know when you went into court? >> the ultimate thing we needed to show in this case is that she didn't put herself in the water, right? and whoever put her in the water killed her. i think if we could get that across to them, the fact that brian laird did it would fall out of those facts as well. >> remember that timeline agent teling put together?
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for example, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., kathryn's last day alive, an ugly moment of domestic discord in the laird's yard was overheard by a new witness, teling found. a fishing guide who had been visiting nearby. >> what did you observe of? >> he's saying, you bitch, you burn the my [ mute ] cookies. he got ahold of her and took the bag and was smacking her with the bag on the side of her head and kind of smooshed the cookies >> then late that night, another fight overheard. here, finally, was the crucial link supplied by those boaters missed in the initial investigation and star witnesses for the prosecution, eric anderson. >> what did you hear? >> it was you [ mute ] bitch. >> how many times was that said? >> it was repeated. >> what was the word you heard from the woman? >> the word no. >> the word no. and how many times was that
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>> when he looked out the window, he said, he saw a white vehicle driving away. >> i saw a large driver. it was a large figure, so i concluded it was a male. >> okay. >> and then this from kathleen anderson. >> it was fighting between a man and a woman. very foul language. >> what did you hear coming from the female voice? >> just no no no! the female's voice was more crying. when i came out, it stopped. so -- >> like tapering off? >> no, it just stopped. >> she saw the white truck too, she said, driving slowly past their camper. >> is that the vehicle that you saw? >> it looks like it. >> remember, brian laird claimed kathryn drove away in the white truck after their argument.
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gave lie to that story. >> i just saw that it was a male driving the vehicle. >> and who did you understand that to be? >> mr. laird. >> at that moment the state contended kathryn lay near death, out of sight, inside the truck. the story, the anderson's story, was the backbone of the state's case. if the jury doubted them their case was lost. >> was there a worry or possibility that the story had become amplified? >> they had no motive to amplify the story. >> the state had to prove this was even a homicide. cause of death was still officially undetermined. one of the original medical examiners had died. what he found was related by the original fbi agent. >> dr. mueller pointed to multiple areas of hemorrhaged blood in the muscles of kathryn's neck.
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>> bruises, suspicious bruises, darkening her wrist, arm and thigh on a young woman making plans to leave her husband. according to her mother, mary knew little. >> she had called to let me know that she was coming home. >> what was her demeanor? >> she was upset. >> how upset? >> crying. >> yes, kathryn was very upset, said her brother thomas. >> what state was she in when she called? >> thomas, an optometrist, identified an expensive pair of glasses he'd made kathryn as a birthday present, glasses found nowhere near her body. >> she was basically blind without glasses or contacts. >> meaning, said thomas, she couldn't have seen well enough to walk on her own to the water. >> where were the glasses? >> they were in the white car. she cannot see a thing without her glasses. wasn't wearing contacts.
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a blind nature hike, half naked along a craggy shoreline, there was no way on earth she could have gotten down there unless brian laird put her there. >> then right after kathryn died said her sister sherry, brian startled the family with his plans. >> brian had asked for her to be cremated quickly. i begged him to let the family have her. >> but was that all, suspicious though it was, enough to convict? maybe. and maybe not. so they called him. >> i was pretty much the grass person. >> the grass person? a botanist. this was a csi of a different sort. >> inside the front there was three cheat grass, one cheat grass in the back. >> this expert in native grasses and weeds identified bits of two kinds of plants found ground
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this is a needle and thread. >> which meant, he showed the jury, that she must have been dragged from where those grasses grew to where her body went into the water. >> and the way it ended up in her pants led to the conclusion that she was dragged down there. >> finally, prosecutors gave jurors a chance to hear from brian himself. sort of. they recalled the original fbi agent to read into the record what brian had said under oath to the missouri bar examiners. what brian said in missouri contradicted everything the jury heard from the prosecution's eye and ear witnesses. >> at any time during the relationship with your wife kathryn did you have any anger outbursts? any anger control issues of any kind? >> none. >> was there any physical confrontations between you and she? >> never. >> so that was the prosecution's case. brian killed kathryn.
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is to give justice to kathryn laird and to give justice to her killer, brian laird, and find him guilty of deliberate homicide. >> but, surprise surprise. as the jury was about to hear, maybe this wasn't murder at all. coming up, a doctor's dramatic testimony. >> ms. laird clearly died of fresh water drowning. i found no evidence that the hands of another. >> what does that mean for the case against brian laird? >> all of us started crying. if it's important to you it's important to us. so we're renewing our commitment. we're listening to the lovers of meat who know how they like their beef. the lovers of things green and leafy. ...and golden and crispy. and the ones with an eye toward the future.
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matthew wald and sandy selby possibly do to counter that? well, as it turned out, a lot. >> the evidence will not show proof that any witness saw brian laird physically harm kathryn that night. any witness who heard more than the verbal argument that brian had already admitted to. any evidence of incapacitating injury to kathryn prior to her drowning. >> why, they asked, did it take the state so long to come up with a case at all?
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never come forward until the fbi finally tracked them down? that fishing guide who said he saw brian hitting his wife with a bag of cookies? >> you never reached out to agent jackson from the fbi to say, hey, i've got some information about brian laird chasing his wife. >> i had no clue that the fbi was involved. i thought it was just a drowning at that point. >> and the state's star witness who supposedly heard such a deadly argument? we brian laird might have been the man they saw driving away later that night, he had no idea who was at the wheel. >> were you able to get any further description of this individual that you say you saw driving this white vehicle? >> i have no more to add. >> as for the terrible row he supposedly heard between brian and kathryn -- >> you never thought that it was necessary to pick up the telephone and call the cops, did
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>> i did not have any interest in calling anytime. because there was a domestic problem next door. it wasn't my concern. >> but didn't the neighbors know full well that kathryn's family was asking around, desperately, for that very information? >> do you remember seeing any posters, seeking any information regarding ms. laird's death? >> did you ever make contact with this person seeking this information? >> no. >> did you provide the information that they were requesting to anybody? >> no. >> as for the state's limited forensic evidence provided by the botanist, that man had no way of knowing, said the defense, whether those particular grasses were even growing there all those years ago. >> you can't tell the jury that
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grasses were distributed in 1999, can you? >> no. >> the defense called only one witness, only one. but oh, what a game changer he was. dr. thomas bennett. one of the two medical examiners who autopsied kathryn. the other had since died. >> i've probably performed over 12,000 forensic autopsies in my career. >> and, imagine this. after reconsidering his original kathryn's death was ruled undetermined, he could now say for certain it was not a homicide. >> did you see any forensic evidence that she was assaulted? >> in my opinion, i did not see any injuries that i would opine were the result of an assault. i did not feel she was assaulted. >> those bruises he'd noted in his own autopsy? he now realized there was a very
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>> there is no indication that she was alive when any of those bruises occurred. and they are entirely explained by postmortem artifact of embalming. >> so how did she die? the doctor's answer was a torpedo into the belly of the prosecution's case. >> well, in my opinion ms. laird clearly died of fresh water drowning. i found no evidence, forensic evidence, that indicated that msir >> brian laird didn't murder kathryn, because it wasn't a murder at all. so said the doctor. kathryn's family was floored. >> i was very upset. i thought at that point we'd probably lost the case. >> yeah. >> i was pretty much distraught. >> in his closing, defense attorney wald drilled in the message. >> so the state ended their case after showing you nothing. and we provide the one guy that
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second time and had knowledge on the case. that doctor could not find, to a reasonable degree, of medical certainty, that death was caused by criminal means. >> the jury retired to deliberate. they were out for five hours when word came, a verdict had been reached. >> please give the verdict to the bailiff. >> i was shaking like i have never done in my life. my brother had one hand, i had my other hand with my mom and actually john teling wol it, too, our fbi agent. >> in the charge of deliberate homicide, guilty. >> guilty. >> all i remember was i was listening for that one word. and i heard it. >> what happened to you then? >> all of us started crying. hugging each other. >> it was wonderful.
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that justice had been served. fairness, finally. they could at least have an inner peace, knowing they add least had some answers. >> not long after the verdict, kathryn's brother thomas died of a heart attack. a broken heart? and then last month kathryn's surviving family was back in the courthouse. it was judgment day for brian laird. her sister spoke. >> i couldn't pick up the phone and share life with my sister. we were best friends. >> and her mother, who'd learned the meaning of sorrow. >> she was beautiful and happy. he took it all away. he didn't have to do that. he could have let her come home and have her life. >> mr. laird? >> and then a pall over the courtroom as the judge turned to brian laird.
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i did not do this, your honor. i still don't know how kathryn died. i loved her and miss her more than anyone could ever know. thank you. >> the judge delivered his sentence. >> you are committed to the custody of the montana state prison for a term of 100 years, none of which is suspended. >> an impassive brian laird was manacled and led away. even if justice was done, for the survivors it never ends. >> it's kind of anti-climactic. you've waited 17 years for this. he's guilty. it's done. i still don't have my sister back. >> i wonder if there's something in our brains that in spite of ourselves we have to have a
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walking back into the room. >> that would be amazing, wouldn't it? i wish. i wish that was the way it worked. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." we'll see you tomorrow at 9:00/8:00 central and then again sunday at 7:00/6:00 central. after that we'll be off for the next three weeks as nbc brings you coverage of the summer olympic games in rio. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, good
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now at 11:00, a nighttime peeper. the warning about a man police says is creeping through alleys, peering through windows, and that's not all. then a burglar on crutches? this guy doesn't look like he would be busting into apartments, but that's exactly and raising fees. the beaches where you could soon be paying more to park your car. news 4 new york at 11:00 starts right now. a very good evening to you. thanks for joining us. i'm stefan holt. chuck and sibila have the night off tonight. let's get started with that nighttime peeper a man who gave the woman a scare of her life. it's past midnight. she looks towards the won't and seeing a man staring back at her. michael george is live with

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